On the promise of a sociological aesthetics: from Georg Simmel to Michel Maffesoli

de la Fuente, Eduardo (2007) On the promise of a sociological aesthetics: from Georg Simmel to Michel Maffesoli. Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, 8 (2). pp. 91-110.

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This article outlines the contribution of a sociological aesthetics to explaining social life. The central argument is that aesthetic phenomena are neither incidental nor epiphenomenal to social structure; rather the social bond itself possesses an aesthetic dimension. The two central thinkers discussed are Georg Simmel and Michel Maffesoli. The first pioneered a sociology grounded in aesthetics through the study of forms of sociation where, as social interaction becomes more fully autonomous, the aesthetic attraction of doing things together starts to dominate. The second emphasizes what social actors feel they have in common when they share tastes, customs or habits. He terms this an 'ethics of aesthetics' and asks whether it is becoming the dominant form of collective bonding. Synthesizing these insights, the article concludes by advocating that the full potential of a sociological aesthetics is realized only when: (1) careful attention is paid to the specific character of aesthetic forms of integration; (2) aesthetic and non-aesthetic forms of sociation are clearly differentiated; and (3) socio-aesthetic analysis avoids vague 'culturalogical' generalizations.

Item ID: 40394
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2159-9149
Keywords: aesthetics, aestheticization, Maffesoli, Simmel, social bond
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2015 02:19
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160806 Social Theory @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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